4.8 Mean, median and mode

Most of us are familiar with the word ‘average’. We regularly encounter statements like ‘the average temperature in May was 4 °C below normal’ or ‘underground water reserves are currently above average’. The term average is used to convey the idea of an amount, which is standard; typical of the values involved. When we are faced with a set of values, the average should help us to get a quick understanding of the general size of the values in the set. The mean, median and mode are
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Open University Courses

The Open University (OU) has a number of short courses that introduce you to computing, online learning and the internet.

You can check out these OU course options on the Courses and Qualifications  website at (accessed 8 November 2006).

Among them are:

  • TU120: Beyond Google: Working with information online

  • <
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7.1 Introduction

If you want to improve your computing skills or knowledge, there are plenty of resources available to help you. This section aims to get your search started by providing you with some useful websites.


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4.8 Not everyone is participating

It can be annoying if there are some people in your tutor group who don't participate in discussions. You may feel that this is unfair, or that you are doing more than your fair share of the work.

There's often a minority of people who don't join in at all, for a variety of reasons – pressure of personal circumstances, illness, shyness, or deliberate decision. And different people may be at different stages in the course. A benefit of studying online is that you can fit your studying
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Introduction

As a student, you may have access to online conferencing. What can you do to help conferencing work well?

This section discusses the reasons why online conferencing is useful, its benefits, how to make online conferencing work for you, and some of the typical problems and solutions relating to it.

“Conferencing gives me the chance to think about what I'm going to say – so I find it much easier to make a w
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3.2.1 How might you use it?

Chat has its limitations for serious discussion, but you may find it helpful to keep in touch with other students. You might ‘meet’ with other students in your group by arranging a time once a week when you can all be online. It can really help to know that there are others out there with problems similar to your own.


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2.6 Back it up

It's a good idea to get into the habit of regularly backing up your work files – things like your notes and assignments. This involves making a copy onto another storage device such as a floppy disk, CD-ROM or memory stick. If anything goes wrong with the hard disk on your computer and you lose all your data, it's some compensation to find that you have a recent copy of your files.

To avoid losing important system files that run your computer, back them up using a data storage system
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2.5 Find out how computers work

The BBC offers an Absolute Beginners' Guide to Using Your Computer (accessed 8 November 2006). This guide is ideal for anyone really new to computers.

If you're interested in the more technical aspects of how computers work and how they've developed over time, have a look at the BBC/Open University Information Communication Technology portal (accessed 8 November 2006).


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Learning outcomes

During this unit you will:

  • learn about how computers can be useful for studying;

  • find out how to be prepared – know the minimum computer specifications for your course or institution;

  • learn what you can do on the web;

  • find out where you can learn more about computers and how they work;

  • learn to back up your files;

  • learn about communicating online using email, real time chat and conferencing;


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Introduction

Information technology is an integral part of courses. It's used to enable students to learn about their subject, contact one another, and find resources.

Using a computer for study can be useful for students on any course. For example, about a half of all Open University courses expect students to use a computer.

In this unit, you'll look at:

  • the different ways you might be asked to use a PC in your course;

  • top tips to ge
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3.2 Using diagrams of your own choice and design

This option is the most challenging and most rewarding, as it clearly shows that you have explored and analysed the source material and reworked it for yourself. In many cases, the source material may not contain any diagrams, simply text or numbers, perhaps expressed as a table. Alternatively, you may have had to make some specific observations or undertake an experiment to produce your own data. In this case, you may be expected to produce a diagram to enhance or improve your assignment. If
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under licence.

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this unit:

Tables

Table 1: Source: Transport Statistics Great Britain, 2001, Department for Transport. Crown copyright material is reproduced under Class Licence Number C01W0000065 with the permission of the Controller if HMSO and the Que
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1.3.5 Stage 3: Details

Now examine the piece in more detail. Read it again slowly making sure that you are able to follow its logic from sentence to sentence. Are there any obvious gaps in the argument or any unsubstantiated statements or assertions? Do you agree with its argument or are you attracted by its message? Is its appeal principally emotional or analytical, or both? Analyse the piece in terms of what it doesn't say as well as what it does, and look for its hidden message. What is the scope of the sample o
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1.3.3 Stage 1: Preparation

The task here is very different from our task when faced with numbers, where we need to deal with a high level of abstraction. Writing is often dense and multi-layered, and usually gives us, if anything, too much surface information about our subject. We need to make a mental effort this time in selecting and abstracting information ourselves. In order to do this effectively we need to be aware of the context of the writing. We need to check if we can, for instance, the political and s
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3.3.1 Mapmaking for the twenty-first century

In early mapmaking history, maps were compiled from travellers’ tales, sailors’ logs and other maps. Information could, therefore, come from various sources and different dates. By the nineteenth century, maps were being made by more technically and scientifically rigorous procedures. Recently, mapmaking has benefited from developments in electronic surveillance techniques and computer programming. The Ordnance Surveys are now using aerial photography coupled with detailed checking on the
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • identify some of the important characteristics of maps in relation to their value to social science;

  • recognise and give examples of how maps can influence our “view” of the world;

  • describe the relationship between data and space as represented on a map.


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7.2 Reorganizing notes

The technique of re-reading completed notes and supplementing them with comments and queries is a useful way of processing ideas. Another way of processing ideas is to reorganize notes around a set of questions or thematic headings. This is particularly useful for those notes that you will be drawing upon for planning and writing assignments. They can be reworked and key concepts and ideas can thus be applied to different types of questions and issues.

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3.5 Summary

Phenomenologists focus on how bodies are experienced at a subjective and intersubjective (relational) level. Phenomenological psychologists seek to transcend the mind-body dualism, arguing that all we have is an intelligent body, with the body and mind one and the same: not simply biology; we are our body and, through this, perform selfhood. This bodily experience is also often pre-reflective and extra-discursive – we experience and use our body before we think about it. And it is through u
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2.2 Body as ‘identity project’

In Western culture, television ‘makeover’ shows in which individuals opt for plastic surgery or are given advice on clothes, makeup, diet and exercise have gained considerable popular appeal. It seems that large numbers of people are buying into the idea that lives can be radically changed through such makeovers. Supposedly unattractive people who are unhappy with their lives are transformed into supposedly more beautiful and happy people leading satisfying lives. In reality, however, doe
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this study unit you will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of fundamental aspects of the theory and methodology underpinning phenomenological psychology;

  • critique simplistic mind–body, individual–social and agency–structure dualisms and appreciate how the body, self and society are interconnected;

  • describe how phenomenological psychologists conceptualise the body.


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